- Delivery Method:
- Via Express Delivery
- Food & Beverages
Recipient NameMr. Vladimir Suarez Ocampo
Recipient TitleCo-Owner and General Manager
- Vlazar Costa Caribe S.A.
Barrio Spanish Town Contiguo
Iglesia Morava Santa Trinidad
- Issuing Office:
- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
August 15, 2022
Dear Mr. Vladimir Suarez Ocampo:
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a Foreign Remote Regulatory Assessment (FRRA) of your seafood processing facility, Vlazar Costa Caribe S.A., located at Barrio Spanish Town Contiguo Iglesia Morava Santa Trinidad Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua on April 26 – 29, 2022. During the remote assessment, we found that you had serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (21CFR Part 123). At the conclusion of the assessment, the FDA investigator discussed items of concern. To date, your firm has not responded to the discussion items identified during the FFRA.
In accordance with 21 CFR 123.6(g), failure of a processor of fish or fishery products to have and implement a HACCP plan that complies with this section or otherwise operate in accordance with the requirements of Part 123, renders the fish or fishery products adulterated within the meaning of section 402(a)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), 21 U.S.C. § 342(a)(4). Accordingly, your dried sea cucumber products are adulterated, in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health. You may find the Act, the seafood HACCP regulation, and the 4th Edition of the Fish and Fisheries Products Hazards & Controls Guidance (the Hazards Guide) through links in FDA's home page at www.fda.gov.
Your significant deviations are as follows:
You must conduct a hazard analysis to determine whether there are food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur and have a HACCP plan that, at a minimum, lists the critical control points, to comply with 21 CFR 123.6(a) and (c)(2). A critical control point is defined in 21 CFR 123.3(b) as a “point, step, or procedure in a food process at which control can be applied and a food safety hazard can as a result be prevented, eliminated, or reduced to acceptable levels.” However, your firm’s HACCP plan (Version 2) for Precooked Dried Sea Cucumber does not list the critical control point of drying for controlling the food safety hazard of pathogenic bacteria growth and toxin formation (Staphylococcus aureus).
You should respond in writing within fifteen (15) working days from your receipt of this letter. Your response should outline the specific things you are doing to correct these deviations. More specifically, your response should include documentation reflecting the changes you made, such as a copy of your revised HACCP plan or plans, five (5) consecutive days of completed monitoring records (i.e., complete sets of monitoring records for the production of 5 production date codes of products) to demonstrate implementation of the plan, and any additional information that you wish to supply that provides assurance of your intent to fully comply now and in the future with the seafood HACCP regulation. If you cannot complete all corrections within 15 days, you should explain the reason for your delay and state when you will correct any remaining violations. If you believe that your product is not in violation of the Act, include your reasoning and any supporting information for our consideration.
If you do not respond or if we find your response inadequate, we may take further action. For instance, we may take further action to refuse admission of your imported fish or fishery products under section 801(a) of the Act (21 U.S.C. § 381(a)), including placing them on detention without physical examination (DWPE). FDA’s DWPE is an administrative procedure whereby products offered for import into the United States may be detained without physical examination upon entry. DWPE information may be conveyed in FDA’s Import Alerts. For your information, an example of an Import Alert that conveys information specific to foreign firms that are not in compliance with the seafood HACCP regulation is Import Alert 16-120. This alert can be found on FDA’s web site at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_25.html.
This letter may not list all the deviations at your facility. You are responsible for ensuring that your processing plant operates in compliance with the Act and all applicable regulations, including the seafood HACCP regulation (21 CFR Part 123) and the current Good Manufacturing Practice Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation (CGMP & PC rule), Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 117 (21 CFR Part 117 Subpart B). You also have a responsibility to use procedures to prevent further violations of the Act and all applicable regulations.
Please send your reply to the Food and Drug Administration, Attention: Alyssa Piontkowski, Compliance Officer, Office of Compliance, Division of Enforcement, Food Adulteration and Assessment Branch (HFS-607), 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740 U.S.A. If you have any questions regarding any issues in this letter, please contact Alyssa Piontkowski via email at: Alyssa.Clendenin@fda.hhs.gov. Please include reference #635746 on any submissions and within the subject line of any email correspondence to the agency.
Ann M. Oxenham
Office of Compliance
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition